Morrison, William Leo On the evening of December 4, 2013, after a long and valiant battle with cancer, William Leo Morrison died peacefully in the home he had made for 59 years with his loving and beloved wife, Kate. The immediate cause of death may be linked to the crushing defeat of the Chicago Bears the Sunday before, which he weathered with his son. Bill was born January 19, 1931, in Nampa, Idaho, and raised in the (then) small town of Aberdeen, SD, by James and May Morrison. He played high school football, worked in his father's grocery store, fished with his brother and father, but avoided hunting. He forged friendships and memories that sustained him to his final days. He left Aberdeen to attend Harvard College, where he encountered Kate, close friends, and a world of literature - all of which, he felt, shaped the man that he became. After law school, he and Kate moved to Chicago, where they raised their family and he practiced law at the firm of Gardner, Carton and Douglas. He was a man of great intelligence, integrity, and humor. He was generous in the extreme. He was a voracious reader - fiction, non-fiction, history, mystery and the news of the day. On the table beside his bed at the time of his death were the collected short stories of William Trevor, Alice Munro's "Dear Life", and "Bloodlands" by Timothy Snyder. His stoicism as a 50-year supporter of the Bears approached the quiet hope and resignation of a private religion. He loved advice columns, Scrabble and the Word of the Week. He loved Walleyed pike, and saltines with margarine. Also pork chops and vanilla ice cream. He was a talented writer and painter and a passionate tennis player. He told a great story and he enjoyed a great story. He loved dogs and certain cats. He did not suffer fools, but he did enjoy them. Friends and family reveled in his winding tales, even if they sometimes wondered how or whether they might end. Colleagues and opponents bowed to his formidable grasp of tax code and his fierce work ethic. He could be a bulldog negotiator, or a clear-headed mediator and problem solver. He always maintained an unwavering moral compass. He was a wonderful friend to a wide circle of people. He was a wonderful son, brother, uncle, grandfather and in-law. He was a wonderful husband. He was a wonderful father. He was a wonderful man. He will be deeply missed by his wife, Kate B. Morrison; his children, Ann (David Roth) Morrison, Ellen Morrison, Sarah (William Rogers) Morrison, and William (Laurie Olinder) Morrison; his grandchildren, Laura Roth, Daniel Roth, Sara Roth Moe and Grace Roth; his great-grandchildren, Dashiell Moe and Finn Moe; and his brother, James A. Morrison. A memorial will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 22, 2013, at K. A. M. Isaiah Israel, 1100 E. Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago IL, 60615. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 70 E. Lake St. #700, Chicago, IL, 60601, or the Greater Chicago Food Depository, 4100 W. Ann Lurie Place, Chicago, IL, 60632. Arrangements by Piser Funeral Services. Info 847-679-4740.
Published by Chicago Sun-Times on Dec. 9, 2013.